Saturday, December 31, 2011

Amazing Black Eyed Peas for New Years

If you’re one of those people who makes black-eyed peas on New Years Day, I have a wonderful recipe for you.  My neighbor, the one with the fantastic German Potato Salad recipe, makes these every year, and it’s a fabulous dish!

2 cans black-eyed peas, I drain and rinse for a more subtle flavor
2 cans italian stewed tomatoes
1 lb. sweet italian sausage, with casing removed
1 large onion
2 tablespoons of italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of oregano, if desired

Brown onion and sausage, drain, crumble and dump all in a crockpot, simmer on high for 3-4 hours, meanwhile cook a cup or so of pasta, any small pasta will work and stir it in at the end. 
This is so good, and so easy….

Enjoy and Happy New Year

~ jan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reflecting, I’m not normally a fan…

Christmas is gone, the hustle and bustle is over, and everywhere you look people are reflecting back to this past year.  I usually avoid this, trying to move forward instead.  But every time I see Abby, and how much she is changing, it forces me to look back and face just how much she has changed from a baby to a busy little girl.

She no longer says awesome to just about everything that happens in her little life.  She talks now, actually non-stop, and as her vocabulary has increased, her favorite word has taken a back seat.  These days her favorite words are “really, really fast.”  She loves to do everything really fast, run, eat, ride in the car, she’s a regular little speed demon.  She no longer wants her favorite little sheep story at bedtime, much to her parent’s dismay, they’ve read the same book to her every single night since she was an infant, but now she wants them to read her other stories and it’s a reminder that she’s left her babyhood behind.

She had a stuffy nose last week and told her Daddy that her nose was broken and she wanted him to fix it.  Such wonderful little memories to reflect back on as she grows.

She has what she thinks is a phone, and talks into it much as her momma and daddy do into theirs.  I hear her saying things like “yah, yah, um hmmmmm, sure, okay, okay” and it’s so funny.

I went with Lindsay to her little music class last week where she was totally showing off for me.  Yelling “Hi Grammie” multiple times to me, and of course I was cracking up.  Her mother wasn’t amused at some of her antics, her teacher probably wasn’t either, but I thought it was hilarious.  Ahhhhh, the joy of being a grandparent.

And now we’re home, settling in this week, getting ready for the long month of January.  But I have multiple projects to keep me busy, and it hasn’t really been cold, and by March, the weather will be warming.  That isn’t so far away, March.  Well, okay, ask me that again about the middle of February, but today the grass is green, the temps are in the 50’s, and the sun is shining...

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and that the coming year will be filled with good health and prosperity.

Enough reflecting from this old(er) girl, I’m ready for move forward to the new year.

~ jan

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays from our family to yours......

Abigail Leigh, our little Christmas angel....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

At our age, you just don't give a shit!

My friend, Carlene, sent me this. It just about sums it all up....

This is a deceptively simple philosophy that I have been working on and refining for most of my adult life. I am delighted to now say that I believe I have refined it down to its utmost essence, and sufficiently enough to share it with a select band of friends that may appreciate its elegance and simplicity.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Susan Branch has a wonderful blog...

Susan Branch is one of my very favorite talented people.  Her blog is just delightful, complete with little birdy chirps.  She has some wonderful Christmas pictures posted, and a delightful little gingerbread house that looks pretty simple to create.  Here's a snippet of a video with the gingerbread house, this site is such a fun little escape this busy week.  If you're not reading her, you're really missing out - you can check her out here...

Enjoy!  ~ jan

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jergens Overnight Repair Lotion, it's a good thing...

Last year Deanna introduced me to Jergen's Ultra Healing Lotion and it became a nighttime ritual for me.  Oh, I'm all about the smell and as you regular readers know, I'm a huge fan of Original Scent Jergens, it's my go to daytime lotion.  I have a bottle sitting right beside me at the computer and I slather it on just for the aroma.  But the Ultra Healing was more intense, it worked well for me at bedtime.

So, I'm on a run to Walgreens this afternoon to replenish my empty bottle of Ultra Healing, and I spot this Overnight Repair.  I bought it instead, and oh my, the smell is amazing!  Not as good as original scent, nothing will ever replace that wonderful cherry almond scent for me, but this is a close second and it does really hydrate your skin.  I think this one's a winner, ladies and I always share my finds.

Like the rest of you, I've tried all the lotions, can't handle Nivea's smell, Lubriderm smells terrible, too, I've tried that gawdawful Neutragena Norwegian Forumla, and pewee it's stinks! I've even tried Bag Balm and Cornhusker's Lotion. But Jergens goes back to my childhood, and since I seem to be reliving it, it's working for me.  And we all know, for me, it's all about the 'odour,' and this one is kickass!

Give it a try if you need a new bottle this winter, it's a great find!

~ Jan

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My favorite birthday gift of all…




This is my card from Abby.  She’s quite the little writer, and obviously had a lot to say to Grammie.  I will treasure this always, it’s dated and tucked away to show to her someday when she’s older.  I thought you would all enjoy a smile this Saturday…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sierra Mist Diet Cranberry Splash Soda


It's this time of year again, they only have drink in the stores at holiday time.  I've drank it for a couple of years now, ever since my buddy V told me about it.  The diet version is sometimes hard to find, but worth looking for.  This stuff is wonderful!

~ jan

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Thanksgiving recap…


We were tucked into this cabin up a winding mountain road, complete with a mountain stream in the back yard.  We had wonderful weather, sunny, 60’s, it couldn’t have been better, but…


John, the firemaster, burnt almost a cord of wood.  As I mentioned in my last post, the fire was blazing nonstop, and remember, our weather was in the 60’s!  So we turned on the air conditioner, opened doors and windows, the dogs panted and drank a lot of water, and we made numerous trips to the back porch to sit in the swing and cool down. But I must admit, that boy does know how to build a roaring fire!


They took pictures of me and hubby, despite the fact that I’m a firm believer that nobody over the age of fifty should ever have their picture taken.


John and Deanna, however, looked adorable.  This was taken our last evening in downtown Gatlinburg.  Hubby and I sat and people watched, with Maggie on my lap.  Since it was my birthday weekend, the family couldn’t argue with me when I took Maggie everywhere with me.  She went in restaurants, shops, tucked into her little Sherpa bag.  And why did I take her?  Because I’m a worrier, and I was afraid somebody would break into the cabin and take her, or that John would burn the place down with his fires.

Izzie and Mollie stayed behind, and I know it sounds terrible, leaving them and taking Maggie, but you all know she is the chosen dog child.  We did take the others doggie treats to compensate.

We played Gin Rummy, Scrabble, Mexican Dominoes, and Deanna and I took turns sitting by that roaring fire, reading trashy romance novels.  We cooked on a temperamental stove, with burners that would either be blazing hot or icy cold, but we managed.  We baked the most wonderful molasses cookies, a recipe I will share with you on Jan CAN Cook, and we had bags of caramel corn that I had sealed with my trusty FoodSaver, and it was totally fresh, despite the humidity, but I won’t get started on that again, I’ve bored you all to tears with my FoodSaver stories.

It was a special birthday, a great Thanksgiving, and a wonderful time.  I missed Ryan and his family, but I was glad that Lindsay got to spend time with her family and we will all be together at Christmas.

I’ll get that recipe for those cookies posted for you soon, they were so good, even better than the one we’ve always used.

~ jan

Update:  I just posted the molassses cookie recipe, you can access it here

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Smoky Mountains...

We're spending a few days in a cabin in the mountains near Gatlinburg with John and Deanna. Here's how its going...

1. Temperatures are In the 60's so we have a fire in the fireplace with the AC on.

2. It's 3pm and we haven't eaten because the stove is temperamental and food is still cooking.

3. The family is playing dominoes, I'm not a fan, so I passed, it's too hot to play anyway.

4. We brought the dogs, they're panting and snoozing the afternoon away.

5. Even though I never venture out, tomorrow we will join the masses to shop until we drop.

6. Did I mention that it's hot in here?

7. Deanna and I slept in while John and LC made pumpkin and pecan pies.

8. It took years of training to get them to this point *wicked grin*

9. Remind me to tell you all later about the FoodSaver and KarmelKorn. It was amazing!

10. Did I mention that it's hot in here,

Okay, I've goofed off enough, time to slave over that darned stove. Nah, not really, we're all doing it. Whew, it's hot in here, but we're having such a good time and temperatures are cooling down tomorrow, hope the firewood holds out!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A we begin this Thanksgiving Week...

We've been posting what we're thankful for this Thanksgiving on Facebook.  This was my post yesterday, several people commented on it and I thought some of you that read the Daily Dish might enjoy it as well.

I'm thankful for the important things, family, friends, health, as all of us are, but if I strip that away, what else am I thankful for?
The wind on my face when I step outside, blowing leaves that bring back long forgotten memories of Novembers past, memories of loved ones now gone, the smell of candles, the warmth of a fireplace, soup simmering on the stove, sunsets that light up the sky, a simple hug and a child's laughter.
I'm thankful that I can hear, see, taste, touch, and smell, the five senses that allow me to enjoy all of the simple things in life, for they are the best gifts of all. Live in the moment wherever you are this Thanksgiving and be grateful, we are all truly blessed.
~ Jan

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fried Egg Salad


I’ve been reading online about fried egg salads. I’ve been having computer “issues” and dinnertime came last night, I was drawing a blank, and since LC will eat anything I put in front of him I pulled out bacon and eggs from the fridge to make breakfast for dinner.

As I was scrambling the eggs, I remembered the fried egg salad recipe and decided to try the salad with scrambled eggs, resulting in one of the best salads I’ve ever made. I topped my greens with Catalina, topped it with crumbled bacon and the scrambled egg, and it was love at first bite.

Crisp, cold salad, warm egg, sweet dressing, salty bacon, rings of red onion, Law-dee ladies, is this a winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tweaking Salad in a Jar…


I’m on round two of vacuum sealing my salads, and I’m totally hooked.  It’s so easy to grab one of these out of the fridge, pour the dressing right in the jar, shake and serve. 

I’ve learned a few things I’ll share with you and then I’ll shut up about this, well maybe I will.  Be right back

  • Make sure your greens are damp, not wet, or you will have soggy salad
  • Don’t add onion, the flavor is too strong
  • Don’t cut lettuce into too small of pieces, it works better if lettuce is a bit chunkier
  • Some people add folded paper towel to the top of the jar before sealing to absorb moisture, I haven’t tried that yet.
  • It is faster putting these salads together when you know what you’re doing.  My total time start to finish this morning was twenty minutes.

This time I used a head of iceberg lettuce and six small heads of artisan lettuce, which is really tender, we’ll see how that works out.  I added celery, carrots and radishes, and had a total of seven quarts.

I’ve been adding nuts, Craisins, and fruit, long with protein, to this mix.  Today I’m going to try toasting oatmeal and sprinkling it on my salad, I don’t know how that will work, but it’s healthy so I’m going to test it.  I need to buy some flax seed, too, that would be a good addition. I’m reading that people are adding Fiber One Cereal to salads for crunch, can’t quite wrap my head around doing that, though…

Yes, I’m still obsessing, I know.  Be patient with me, it will pass, it always does Smile with tongue out

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

They've screwed up Levi sizing!!!!

Please tell me that Levi's run smaller than they used to, PLEASE TELL ME!!!!!   I'm seriously considering cutting the size tags out of my old jeans and sewing them into my new jeans in a misguided attempt to make myself feel better.

They probably make these in China and these are sized for Asian woman.  Thats why they don't fit! Or it's some kind of awful trick they're playing on us, CONSUMERS BEWARE!!! Do you think I've finally gone round the bend????  It appears that I might have.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with wearing yoga pants for the rest of my life.  It won't be so bad, I just won't go anywhere until it's dark, and nobody can tell what kind of bottoms I have on, they will just look black.  It will work, right??? 

Oh, of course it won't work, but these are desperate times!  Maybe I should just buy Walmart's brand of jeans, I bet they aren't sized small!!!  Oh heaven help, I am going to have to order up those Pajama Jeans I joke about.

No, Jan, you are just going to have to eat human bites and then maybe after oh, three or four years, if you're very, very lucky, Levi's will fit properly.

I think this screwed up Levi sizing is political, it has to be, there is no other excuse!    And Levi is missing the boat, they should make all of their jeans HUGE,then we would happily keep going down in size until they fit.  Can you imagine the shrieks of joy that would come from the dressing room when fat women everywhere could slide into a size six?  They would make a bloody FORTUNE!  I think I should email them, don't you???

I really need to curb my enthusiasm…

I was talking to Nisha this morning, gushing about sealing food in jars, and she asked me if I had always been this way?  Super excited, well more like obsessive, about new things I’m trying.  V and I laugh about it, too, I get so caught up in the latest and greatest, and then the next thing comes along and my aging brain forgets all about the last latest and greatest and I’m off to something else.

BUT, trust me, this FoodSaver sealing in a jar thing is a keeper.  Mother always taught me to store foods in the fridge and freeze in glass, it doesn’t pick up odors, it doesn’t stain, it just works best.  And I have all of these glass containers that I use, however, they don’t seal, therefore the food doesn’t stay fresh as long.


So I’ve turned into a one woman sealing machine.  See this picture, it’s bacon, yep, bacon.  You know how you open a package of bacon and it turns brown and dries out, even though you have it in a Ziploc, well no more.  I just stuck my bacon in a quart jar and sealed it up.

Today I found large mouth pint jars, no easy task, as canning season is over and the stores aren’t stocking them, but my local Rural King had them, so I’m good to go.

I popped a quart of salad for lunch, took out some cannelini beans, put the rest in this jar and sealed them.  You’re probably thinking, why would she do this, she isn’t going to keep them long term?  Well, it’s fast, it’s quick, it keeps them fresher, and it’s glass people.  Love this – L-O-V-E this!  Now I need some wide mouth half pint jars and I’m good to go. I don’t bother putting the rings on the jars, that’s just another step, and you don’t need them, these lids are totally sealed.  I learned online to take a small screwdriver, put it at the top of the highest glass ring mark, jut under the lid, give it a half turn and the lid comes off without bending it, and you can reuse it again and again. Oh, the possibilities….

And my lunch today, well let me tell you, it was so good.  I opened a quart of salad, squirted a heaping tablespoon of yellow mustard on top, then I added  packet of Splenda, salt, and pepper, a splash of olive oil and a healthy glug of fat free half and half and squeezed half an orange over the top.  I put on the lid, shook the jar until it was combined, poured it in my salad bowl, added the beans, and a can of drained tuna and tossed.  Delicious, easy, fast, see I’m obsessing.  But this is the best thing I’ve come across in like forever!!!!  Now that I have my pint jars I’m going to attack my pantry and put all kinds of things in pints.  Yes, I know, obsessing

Oh, I totally forgot to tell you how the salad is working.  It’s perfect, crispy, cold, not brown, the only thing I will do different next time is not add onion, because it’s such a strong flavor the lettuce takes on the taste.  Hubby wanted salad for dinner last night, it was ready for him to eat in 30 seconds.  It’s the damndest thing!!!

~ jan here, doin’ the happy dance Nyah-Nyah

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2011

I’ve been over Oprah for years now, but my friends and I always enjoy her favorite things, and even though she no longer has a show, she still has a list.

Here’s the link if you’re interested, I found not one thing that I would buy, it’s sure not like the good old days, but then what is….

You can check it out here, see if you have better luck than me, the only thing that floated my boat was the chicken pot pie, and Marie Callender makes a great one for a better  price, so forget that, too…

Corn on the cob without silking it.

Okay, so the poor ole feller has a bit of trouble with one of his ears turning loose, but this is so cool!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Barb’s Amazing Creole Burgers


I made my friend Barb’s Creole Burgers yesterday and they were awesome.

Read all about them and get the recipe on Jan CAN Cook.

Another great Sloppy Joe recipe, I’m a happy girl…

~ jan

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Salad in a Jar–this is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!

Last week I told you about my FoodSaver not working and my eBay purchase of another one.  It arrived yesterday, brand new with tape and cardboard still intact, so of course I fired it up immediately and it worked perfectly.

So this morning I got up, assembled my ingredients and I was off to the races. 


I used two heads of iceberg lettuce that I washed, chopped and spun dry in the salad spinner.  They don’t recommend you use baby bibb or spring greens, they’re too tender and don’t last as well,  romaine and iceberg work best.  Then I used the slicing blade of the salad shooter to quickly shred all of the other veggies.


Then I gave it all a quick toss to combine all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, which by the way is the greatest, cheapest thing ever.  This huge stainless bowl came from a local restaurant supply house, cost less than $10 and I use it so much, it’s awesome!


I started using a funnel to fill the jars, quickly realized that it was a pain, it was easier to just position the jar over the salad bowl and scoop the greens with a measuring cup.  Hubby doesn’t like green peppers, so I only added them to some of the jars and I didn’t add soft ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, or mushrooms as I’ve read that they don’t hold well.  I also used a regular stainless knife to chop my lettuce, even though I have a plastic lettuce knife, there is “supposedly” no need to use it as the lettuce doesn’t turn brown and I’m not a fan of tearing it because I like a finer texture and it’s hard to achieve when tearing it.


Then I wiped off the tops of the jars to make sure they were dry so that the seal would hold and I was ready to vacuum seal them.  It was really fast, really easy, it only took twenty seconds per jar to seal.  And no, there is nothing running down the front of the FoodSaver, it’s just shadows from the jars ;o)


And how long did this take?  From the time I started assembling my ingredients until I put them in the fridge, thirty-five minutes start to finish and I have enough salad to last me for seven days.  And this was the first try, I’m thinking next time it won’t take as long as today because I’ll know what I’m doing.  One mess per week and enough salad to last for days, works for me…


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red Silicone Whisk, this is a REALLY good thing…


I just bought this silicone whisk at either Marshall’s or T. J. Maxx a few weeks ago, both of our stores had a big display of them.

Oh my, what a difference a flexible whisk makes, it gets into all the nooks and crannies of your bowl, it’s just amazing.

You can find them online, too – HERE IS ONE SITE if you don’t want to trudge through the stores looking for them.  They’re a little more spendy online, I only paid like $5.99 for mine.  But check around, they are all over the place.  Super little gadget!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I’m using for Moisturizer…

In my twenties I was a Merle Norman girl.  I bought all of their products,  and  they looked amazing on my young skin.  Then came Clinique and I jumped on that bandwagon.  For years I used their moisturizer, toner, makeup base, shadow, blush, even their cologne.  All the way through my thirties and forties I was a Clinique girl.  Then came my fifties, and I’m realizing that moisture is moisture, so I started using drugstore moisturizer instead of the pricey department store stuff.  Now I still have brand loyalty to certain products, I’m a huge MAC fan, but that’s a whole other blog.

Anyway, the drugstore stuff worked great for me, I can’t even remember which brands I bought, but they were inexpensive.  Then I turned sixty and discovered the little pots of Aldi’s moisturizer, which was awesome and only cost a few dollars and ranked right up there with department store brands in consumer tests.

babyAnd now that I’m almost sixty two, what am I using?  Well, I must confess, I ran out of my Aldi’s brand a few months ago, and I had a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Lotion sitting on my makeup table, because I adore the scent and I like slathering it on at bedtime because it smells so good.  So I put it on my face, and guess what, it worked as well as a makeup primer as any of the other stuff I’ve ever used. It’s gentle, non-irritating, what more do I want.  And it’s $5.00 for a gigantic pump bottle.

So now I’m using baby lotion as a moisturizer.  Do you think I’ve come full circle?  Hey, it works, it’s cheap, and at my age, regardless of what I slather on, it’s not going to turn back time.  Just push down on the pump and you’re good to go.  Nothing to unscrew or squeeze, it’s fast, no mess, and at this stage of my life I appreciate anything that’s easy to use.

I wonder what I’ll be using in my seventies? I have no idea, I may be using Udder Cream or Bag Balm, but if I have enough brain cells left to still blog, I’m sure I’ll be telling you about it.

Hope you’re all having a great Monday!

~ jan

Note:  After I posted this I started thinking, and I imagine a lot of you are saying, well this won’t work for me because I use moisturizers that have built in wrinkle-reducing ingredients.  I’ve had prescriptions for .025 strength Retin A since I was in my 30’s, and been diligent about using it all these years, so I don’t need additional ingredients in a moisturizer.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

I was going through my blog archives, and it’s really shocking how many years I’ve been doing this, and all the really stupid things I’ve said.  My poor family…

This week I heard from a nice lady named Holly who has been reading me for quite some time now, it was so nice to get her email, because blogging is such a solitary thing, I just type out whats on my mind and hit send, having no idea of who is going to read what I say.

My friend, Diane, told me this past week that she enjoys the blogs about my childhood.  She can relate to those posts, because her early years were similar to mine.  Feedback is good, it’s nice when people let me know their thoughts, heaven knows I give all of you way to many of mine. ;o)

I suppose that my blogs will remain in cyberspace for years to come, and I wonder what Abby will think about her grammie when she’s grown and reads some of these entries.  I seldom filter anything, I just start typing and whatever thought pops in my head ends up on here.  Maybe I should be a bit more selective, but nah, by the time Abby is old enough to read all of this, she will have long figured out that I’m her wackadoo grandmother.

So I’ll just keep on keepin’ on, spinning my wheels, going nowhere.  But perhaps occasionally I will give you a smile, or some good information.   That’s my purpose, that’s what keeps me doing this…

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Look who’s sharing a birthday…


No, no, not Trigger, it’s Jean and Roy Rogers.  Roy was a hundred today, Jean was a few years behind him.  Okay, quite a few, but she is older than me.  Happy Birthday, old friend, I hope you have many, many more…

Sharing the good stuff..


These little plastic tulip sundae dishes are a great find.  They are usually in stock at Walgreens, and at holiday time they have them in red and green.

You’re probably wondering why I’m showing you these, what’s so special about plastic bowls?  Well, first of all they are like $.49 apiece, and they are the best thing ever when I’m in the kitchen baking.  I guess I’ve watched too much FoodTV, but I always measure my different ingredients into little containers before stirring whatever I’m baking together. 

Okay, I confess, it’s not entirely FoodTV, it’s mainly so that I don’t forget to add something. I have glass ramekins, and FiestaWare ramekins, but they’re bulky and heavy, these are lightweight, stack easily, grab one and you’re good to go.  I have a ton of them, and I use them for all kinds of things.  They’re the perfect size for little hands when you are fixing a snack for little people, I use them for coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans, and they’re perfect for a scoop of ice cream, or a serving of pudding or Jello. They’re unbreakable, dishwasher safe, you’ll find a boatload of uses for them.  You won’t want to trot them out when Aunt Martha comes to visit, save the cut glass for when she comes, but for everyday use, you can’t beat these!

You might want to check the seasonal aisle next time you are in Walgreens, I think I’ve seem them at Wally World, too.  I know, they’re plastic, but they’re goodies, pinky swear they are…

~ jan

Why do things never go as planned, EVER!!!!!!

I’ve been wanting to make that salad in a jar all week, but I didn’t have lids, couldn’t find my wide mouth jars, didn’t have enough lettuce, you know the story.  So yesterday, this little squirrel gathered up all her nuts, found some jars, bought some lids, got the salad ingredients and I was good to go this morning.  WRONG!!!!!

I got out all the ingredients, lettuce, peppers, radishes, celery, red onion, carrots, and I’m slicing and dicing like a madman, thinking that I’m really liking this and I should dust off the trusty old salad shooter the next time to shred the veggies.  I got everything in the jars, it looked great, it was so much easier to prepare salads this way,  I was beyond excited! Yeah, I know I need a life, but anyway, I get out the FoodSaver, attach the vacuum hose, fire it up, and nothing!  El zippo, nada, no can do, the blasted thing wouldn’t vacuum.  Hubby to the rescue, and even he, who can fix anything, couldn’t make it work.  I was frustrated beyond words!

So I go online to, get the customer service number, talk to this nice lady named Ruth who gives me all the info on FoodSavers, the latest and the greatest, and of course she has a deal for me.  I say “thank you very much, but I’m not ready to order” after she is pressuring me to buy one, but I’ll check around because you can always find things cheaper elsewhere than the original manufacturer.

Foodsaver-v3840Sooooo, the one I liked was Model V3840, $299.00, which was crazy expensive, but I liked it because it was stainless and I can leave it set out, so I go to eBay, find the same one, Buy It Now, no shipping charges, no tax, for $76.49.  It’s a retail store returned item, the seller is a power seller with great feedback and 100% return policy, so I felt comfortable buying it.  Yeah, I know, it sounds to good to be true, but in the past I’ve had good luck with this type of thing, let’s just hope it holds out for me this time.

And of course I read the reviews, and it’s the same as it is for all FoodSavers, some people love them, some hate them.  I think it’s because people can’t figure out how to seal the bags, it’s really tricky getting that bag in that little channel, but  once you get past the learning curve, it’s a walk in the park.  We’ve had ours for several years, and it’s the type that you seal by pushing down on the unit with both hands, this one is hands free, you just push a button, a big improvement, since it gets constant use.  We buy whole pork loins, have the butcher cut them into 3/4” chops and freeze them.  They’re so good, and so inexpensive when you do it this way.  We’ve had great luck freezing all kind of meat, no freezer burn, ever, with a FoodSaver.

So, with a little luck, in a few days, I’ll be showing you pictures of my Ball jars filled with salad.  Oh, about the salad, I put them in the fridge anyway, because I already had them in the jars, I pulled out a quart jar at lunch, it’s the perfect amount of salad for two people, or a chef salad for one – this is gonna be awesome once I get it working. I’m also going to vacuum seal nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, my pantry is going to be lined with Ball jars, which will make me smile, because these are the jars of my childhood.

So, let’s hope I’m not gonna be on here in a few day p*ssing and moaning about how the thing doesn’t work and I have to send it back. 

I’m usually pretty positive about this type of thing, but it’s been a really bad month, so Little Miss Merry Sunshine is just a bit skeptical.  But we shall see…

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peanut Butter, Jif vs. Skippy…

When I was a kid, I did not like peanut butter, I didn’t like the smell, the texture, the taste, it just wasn’t for me.  Then I grew older, and my opinion changed, and now that I’m really older, I adore peanut butter.  By the time I decided I liked it, largely in part to commericals like this with Annette Funicello, who I thought was absolutely drop dead gorgeous, I jumped on the Skippy bandwagon.

Skippy became a staple in our pantry, and then the boys grew up and started watching commercials like this.

Well, of course I had to be a choosy Mother, and they just had to have Jif instead of Skippy, I abandoned Annette and my brand loyalty and started buying Jif.  And I liked it, I really liked it, it was sweet, it was yummy and it had a great looking jar. ;o)  My kids loved it and to this day it’s our families peanut butter of choice, even though blind studies show that Skippy always beats Jif.  In fact, I had a lively discussion about this very thing just a couple of weeks ago with my friend Trish and her brother Mike, who are die hard Skippy fans.

So, maybe I’ll buy a jar of Skippy for old times sake, but I just don’t think I’ll like it as well.  It just doesn’t get any better than Extra Crunchy Jif in my opinion.  And now that they’ve had the worst peanut harvest in decades, those jars are going to get pricey.  But sometimes it’s just worth it, sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  So I bought a hug jar today, peanut butter and celery, mother always fixed this for the kids, and it’s still our favorite way to eat it…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Favorites


It’s that time again.  Every year I post my friends Thanksgiving recipes, a list we all collaborated on back in 2008.  There are some amazing recipes here.

Some of the most requested are Nisha’s Chicken Velvet Soup from L. S. Ayres Tea Room, Jan and Kaysi’s wine infused Cranberry Jello Salad (Lindsay’s Aunt Jan’s recipe, not mine) and everybody’s favorite, Barb’s Melt-in-your-Mouth Pumpkin Bread.  All of these recipes are special, as are the ladies that gave them to me.  I’ll post them in my sidebar until after Christmas.

Happy Cooking! 

~ jan

Here’s the quick link for you…

About that food storage YouTube link yesterday…

I hadn’t watched it before I posted it, but it was a Morman lady taking food storage to the extreme with solar ovens and 1-3 years worth of food stockpiled.  I admit, I was fascinated, and sat and watched all 8 or 9 videos.

I was intrigued by her pressure cooking meat, that took me back to my childhood as mother, grandma and the aunts always canned meat, quart jars filled with chicken, jars of sausage and my favorite, pork tenderloin in gravy. 

Mother canned so many vegetables, fruit, pickles and relishes, and an email this morning from my friend, Carlene about sauerkraut made me think of the fall when she always shredded cabbage, let it ferment in big crocks in the kitchen and canned it for the winter.  I loved it, cold from the fridge, it tasted nothing like the kraut you buy in the bag at the grocery store today. 

I still have her old recipes, her sweet pickles that took fourteen days to make, her wonderful garlicky dill pickles, zucchini relish, Aunt Mae’s Pear Honey that I need to post on Jan CAN Cook, to name a few, and it makes me sad that I never make any of her wonderful food. Maybe I should pick just one thing and make it, just to see if it tastes as good as I remember.

I’ve already given John and Deanna the heads up about my birthday dinner this year, as we will be with them in a cabin at Gatlinburg.  I want something I haven’t had since I was a child, and I’m sure nobody will like it but me.  It’s a strange combo, but oh how I loved it.

Mother always made it in an electric skillet, she would brown hamburger, onion and green peppers, drain off the grease, then stir in a quart of her canned tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork, then she would add dried spaghetti and simmer it until the spaghetti was tender.  The starch from the spaghetti would thicken the sauce and it was just yummy!  Then, and this is the best part, she would make mashed potatoes, put them in the middle of the plate and puddle that spaghetti over the top.  Oh my, it was soooo good, no wonder I wasn’t a skinny little kid!  It was totally unlike the spaghetti we have today, no italian seasoning, not even garlic, just onion and green peppers. 

Will it taste as good as I remember? I can just see all of you thinking, ewwwwwww, I don’t know about this.  Hubby is already going “yuck” but he’s just gonna have to deal with it along with the rest of the family, while I take my walk down memory lane. In our family you get anything you want for your birthday with no questions asked!  I’m still working on dessert, haven’t quite figured that out yet.

Heaven knows I’ve had many years of strange combination of birthday foods from the boys growing up so I doubt they will give me a hard time about this…

Besides, what goes around comes around.  Works for me! Winking smile

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our little tiny dancer...

I haven’t had a crazy idea in a long time….

Well, that’s debatable, but back in the day I was always trying some kind of hare-brained project, that often resulted in less than stellar results, and most assuredly involved poor long suffering hubby engineering my schemes.

But I’m older now, I just don’t have the determination I once did.  Oh, I still find “things” I would like to do, but usually forget about them in less than five minutes because my brain cells are dying off faster than Superman’s speeding bullet.  And then along came Pinterest, which I and a lot of my friends, enjoy more than anything we’ve found online in ages.  There are all kinds of “ideas” to pin, and because it’s visual, it triggers my aging brain into remembering.  A good thing you would think, well, not always, because once again the wheels are turning and I have all kinds of “things” on my to-do list.  At the top of that list is a little project which involves Christmas and family, and it’s a great one, but since my sweet daughters-in-law read this blog, I can’t talk about it.  I can, however, clue any of you as to what I’m doing, it’s just really fascinating, inexpensive and will make a great gift, so if you’re interested in knowing what it is, just email me.

Now on to my next project. It’s Salad in a Jar.  I try to eat salad several times a week, especially now, because I’m just getting over the gawdawful flu/sinus/ear infection that has plagued me for the past three weeks, which resulted in my lying around with hubby spoon feeding me boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese, my comfort food of choice when I don’t feel well.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who doesn’t eat when they’re sick, oh no, yours truly stuffs it in like it’s the last supper.  And since I’ve lived in Yoga pants for weeks now, putting on my jeans and zipping them is taking herculean effort, the muffin top goes all the way to my chin, and once again, I’m on the salad bandwagon.  It’s either that or start ordering up those Pajama Jeans that were all over the infomercials last year.

But, I’m also lazy.  I know it’s no big deal to make a salad, but sometimes I just don’t want to chop all those veggies, cut the lettuce, day after day after day,  you know what I mean.  Precutting results in brown edges, and limp lettuce, so that isn’t an option either.

But this is where my latest idea comes in, thanks to a great blog I found via Pinterest, called Salad in a Jar.  You do need a couple of things to make this work, wide mouth Ball canning jars and a FoodSaver attachment.  I’ve long been a fan of FoodSavers, my whole family uses this amazing gadget to vacuum pack meat for the freezer.  I found this YouTube video on how to vacuum seal jars if you’re interested.  She starts showing how to use it 3:30 minutes into the video.  There is another video, this one is a whole 8 part series about food storage, you can find it here.


I’m going to link you to the original article on how to do this, because after all it’s not my idea and I can’t take credit for it, but in a nutshell here’s what you do.

You take several quart size, at least for me because I like big salads, wide mouth jars, but you could do this with pints as well, put in your salad greens, vacuum seal them, and put them in your refrigerator.  Because the vacuum seal sucks the oxygen out of the jar, the salads stay fresh all week without turning brown and wilting.  All you have to do is grab one, add protein, put dressing in the jar, shake it, pour it on a plate and you’re good to go….

Ingenious huh? I’m going to try doing this today.  I’ll update you on the results.

Here’s the link to the blog entry, in fact the entire website is pretty amazing, I’m so in awe of people’s talent…

Hope you’re all having a great week.  ~ jan

Monday, October 31, 2011


I wish Halloween was the way it used to be…

hThe Halloween’s of my childhood were so different than today.  We were hobo’s and pirates, outfits put together from whatever we had on hand.  We dressed up in Mother’s clothes, her pearls, her high heels, and a little hat with a veil and white gloves and we walked familiar neighborhoods where people knew us, and they actually “guessed” who we were.

We wore half masks, with a tablecloth thrown over our shoulders and we were transformed into Zorro.  We paid $.79 for a gauze mask at the drugstore that smelled awful when you put it on your face, but we were thrilled when we looked in the mirror and saw a princess or a devil looking back at us by just by using our imagination and that inexpensive little mask.

People made popcorn balls, wrapped them in cellophane and gave them to us for treats.  And we got big red shiny apples, and it was simple, and it was magic…

Those really were the days, my friends…

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My annual Halloween Sloppy Joe Recipe...


I post this recipe every Halloween, it dates back to the early '80's when we were living in Denver and my friend Susan shared it  with me.  It's  been an annual Halloween tradition at our house ever since, Sloppy Joes and potato chips, and now the boys make them for their families.  When they were little it was such a busy time getting them ready to trick 'or treat, so I would make this ahead and have it for them when they got home with their "loot."  And since I love holiday traditions, it quickly became a "must make" every Halloween.

I've given this recipe to countless friends, and everybody loves it.  It's made from simple ingredients you will have in your kitchen, almost as easy as opening a can of Manwich and so much better!  So, if you've never tried these, do yourself a favor and make them for your family this week.

This recipe is a scan of a scrapbook cookbook page I made for John and Ryan a few years ago, it's a bit hard to read, so here is the text:

1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce 
1 tablespoon vinegar (white)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (heaping)
1 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup water
cayenne pepper to taste
1 lb. ground beef

Salt and pepper ground beef to taste, brown with onions, drain, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  My guys always loved them with a slice of melted Velveeta on top and my homemade Lime Pickles.  

This is one of those recipes you will make again and again, it's just the best ever!

Happy Halloween

~ jan

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I just had to share this tonight....

My friend Trish just sent me this picture of her granddaughter, Hayden, all dressed for Halloween.  Is this not absolutely precious?  What a sweet little girl this is...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just like the squirrels, storing nuts for the winter…


I’ve talked often about living off the land as a child.  Gleaning popcorn in the fields, after the combines had harvested the fields, dragging burlap sacks over the wet ground, and filling them with ears of corn left behind.  Laying them out to dry, and spending evenings shelling them to store in gallon size pickle jars for the winter months.  It sounds so “Little House on the Prairie” to write about, but that’s what we did.

One of my favorite things to do was to visit a pecan grove, not far from home.  The owner would bump the trees with a blade on a tractor, the nuts would fall to the ground, and we would fill coal buckets, weigh them, pay for them and take them home to crack and pick out the nuts for Christmas baking.  To this day, there is nothing I like more than fresh pecans, well except for those hickory nuts I’ve talked about.  The same hickory nuts that my friend Mary sent me last year, and that I hoarded in the freezer, eating a few at a time instead of sharing them with the family because they don’t have hickory nut memories like I do, and besides, I was an only child and we all know that I tend to be selfish about certain things. *grin*

We would also visit the apple orchard, where the big wooden ladders were sitting by the trees, mother would climb the ladder and fill a bucket with apples, then pass it down to me to put in a bushel basket.  She loved McIntosh apples, and thought they made the best pies, I always loved Golden Delicious, and they were as big as softballs in a little girl’s eyes.

We also cooked pumpkin to can in Ball fruit jars.  Not the jack o’lantern pumpkins you buy at the store, those aren’t good, you have to have pie pumpkins, bursting with flavor.  They’re the ones that make the good pies.

And I can’t forget the sweet potatoes.  We would dig them before the first frost in the garden, dry them on newspapers in the smokehouse, then wash them, and store them under the beds in cardboard boxes.  I’ve always adored sweet potatoes and the way mother would bake one of each, one irish potato, one sweet potato, and we would cut them in half and share them at dinnertime.  We still buy bushels of sweet potatoes, the best deals to be had these days are at Wal-Mart the week of Thanksgiving.  They sell them for about 25 cents a pound, or at least they have for the last few years, and if you ask, they will sell them to you by the box.

We all have our childhood memories, everyone’s are unique, I’m just fortunate enough, through my blog, to share mine with you.  Share some of your memories with your family this weekend, once again, it’s these simple things that they will remember about you and treasure for years to come….

Jan reviews the iPhone 4S


First of all, it’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a bells and whistles girl, if  it has eye candy, I’m all over it!  And yes, I’m a huge fan of Apple products, it’s just the way I roll…

I also should say that I’ve been a big fan of my Droid X, it’s a great phone, but when the new iPhone 4S was released there were two things that had me drooling.

The first is iCloud storage, since I have an iMac and an iPad, the idea of being able to access information between these devices and the iPhone intrigued me.  But what really sold me was Siri.  OMG, if there is anybody who needs a “Personal Assistant” it’s your truly.  So I ordered a cute little white iPhone, and patiently waited for FedEx to deliver it.

When I unboxed it, I must admit, I was skeptical.  Next to my Droid X, it’s small.  The screen isn’t as large, the unit itself is much smaller than the X, but after using it for a few days now, I’m used to it and it isn’t an issue.

What do I like about it?  What’s not to like about it.  The screen resolution is crystal clear, much more so than any phone I’ve ever owned.  It operates the same way my iPad does, so there was no learning curve, and everything works seamlessly and fast.  There is no lag, the applications access instantly, it absolutely purrs. When I  text, the digital keyboard is much more responsive than my Droid.  I used to have so many problems getting my fingers on the right keys, but it isn’t an issue with this phone.  But I seldom have to correct anything, the voice recognition is so advanced, it’s awesome!

Siri is absolutely brilliant.  She understands what I say, even when I mumble, and everything is hands free, I simply tell her to call or text someone and she does it, totally with voice recognition.  I ask her what the temperature is, I tell her to remind me to take something out of the oven, when I ask her questions she doesn’t know, she searches the web for me.  And yes, I think of her as a real person, the woman is amazing!  I told her today that she was my best friend, and she responded, “you are certainly entitled to your opinion, Jan.”  Cracked me up!

I really don’t think I’ll be adding tons of apps, I just tell Siri and she accesses what I need.  I wish I could rename her though, I’ve always wanted an assistant named  “Wanda,” and who knows, maybe in the future I can change her name.

There is one negative to this phone, and for me, it’s a biggie.  It’s the navigation.  The Android Google navigation was absolutely wonderful and free, there is nothing that compares to it on the iPhone, unless you cough up $5 a month for VZ navigation.  I will do that when we travel, it’s worth the money to me, as we use navigation all the time.

So that’s it in a nutshell, the more I use this phone the more I like it.  Today I used the front facing camera, made a silly little video and sent it to Abby.  The camera is excellent, the ease of use, for me,  is so much better than with the Droid.  I’m hooked…

I would never try to get someone to switch to an iPhone, we all have different needs for our phone, it’s a personal thing,  but for me, as Apple says, it just works!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's October, why am I thinking of Christmas???

I was thumbing through Pinterest this morning, and found a link to make your own vintage Christmas tags.  I remember back in the day, I would be all over this like mayo on white, but now I mostly just look at it and dream...

But perhaps some of you might enjoy looking at her freebies, some really pretty stuff here.  It looks like she's tearing edges to give it a aged effect.  Here's the link...

And if you haven't found Pinterest yet, oh my are you missing out.  You can access my Pinterest here or it's always in the right sidebar, I have quite a bit pinned now, some killer recipes, check me out...

~ jan

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's time for soup...

It's that time of year, today I'm going to make Paula Deen's Butter Bean Soup. I have a small collection of soup recipes on Jan CAN Cook, and I'll be adding to them this fall. They're all good, especially the Sausage Stew, and the Chickpea Soup with Sausage.

You can access them here...

Enjoy ~ Jan

Be careful what you wish for….

We just got back from Lexington, where we spent a few days babysitting Abby while Mom and Dad got a long weekend getaway.  Remember how I complained because she refused to say Grammie?  Oh, what a difference just a month makes, now it’s “Grammie?” “Grammie?” “Grammie?”  constantly.  But oh, so cute, music to my ears.

John and Deanna came for the weekend, and we went out for the day on Saturday.  Deanna dressed Abby in a cute little outfit, we put on her little coat, Uncle John transferred her car seat to his car, he and Larry strapped Abby in, we all got in the car and started to take off, and I said, “Did anybody get her diaper bag?”  “No” was the response.  “Did anybody fill her sippee cup with juice?”  “No.”  So we trudged back into the house, got the necessary equipment and we were off.

We left the subdivision headed for town, and I said, “Did anybody get her stroller?” “Noooooooooo.”  So back to the house we went.

We were all laughing so hard, looks like we have a few kinks to work out with travelling with a toddler…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh how I HATE change!

Now that Stella is starting to finally recover from the ick that has plagued her for the past week and getting her groove back, I’m on a rant.


See this bottle, this is a glass bottle that once contained Vicks Vaporub.  And granted, I had my trusty bottle of Vicks for a badzillion years. because, let’s face it, you don’t use a boatload of this stuff in one sitting.

And after poor hubby had trudged to the store time after time for all kinds of nonsense to try and make me feel better, I sent him once more to get me some Vicks, because I couldn’t find mine.

He came home, tossed it on the bed, I eagerly unboxed it, and something wasn’t right.  It didn’t look right, it didn’t feel right, the Vicks itself looked like it was a different color.  IT WAS BECAUSE IT WAS IN  A PLASTIC BOTTLE!!!!!!  Oh, I was beyond upset because they quit making it in a glass pot.  It probably didn’t look right because it didn’t have the cobalt glow that the glass bottle had.  I used it of course, and it smelled the same, but it just was wrong.  I swear if I still had the old bottle, I would transfer the contents.  So, if any of you have glass Vicks bottles, for gawds sake don’t throw them away, give me one!  I’ve already alerted hubby to look for me one at a tag sale, but he says he never sees them.

Oh, they better not mess with my Carmex glass bottle, that’s holy grail!  If they screw that up, I will have one hissy fit, but I’m going to start stockpiling my glass Carmex containers just in case it ever happens.

What a traumatic thing to have happen to someone who is sick.  I’m going to email the company, I am, and it won’t be pretty, either ‘cause I’m in a mood!  Just quit changing things, for cryin’ out loud, we old(er) people don’t like it!!!!!!

Oh, and cough drops, they’re smaller now, why?????  This has me all upset, too!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I wish.......

Here's what I'm wishing for today aka an exercise in futility...

I wish:

I wasn't sick, two days in bed now, blecht
I had braids, they're back, and I've always loved them but would look silly with them at this age
I could lose 10 15 okay 20 lbs., another exercise in futility
My house was decorated for fall, dropping the ball this year :o(
I was sitting by a campfire with the old ladies, enjoying the day (private joke, they will get this)
I had a new cuddly robe for fall, I see few in the stores and they all tie at the waist, not attractive when you need to lose 10 15 20 lbs.

Jan, blogging in bed from her iPad, surrounded by Kleenex, dogs and juice Diet Dew

Monday, October 10, 2011

Abby turns two!


Saturday was Abby’s birthday.  She’s all giggles and smiles, busy every moment, exploring the world.  She loves being outside, sliding down her slide, again and again, and playing with the sand rice table that Grammie and P-Pa got her for her birthday.  I love to just sit and watch her, she’s such a joy.  She calls me Grammie now, when we I first saw her, she jumped up and down, squealing “It’s Grammie, It’s Grammie!”  Talk about tugging at those heartstrings.

She had a fun “Little Einsteins” party, and Mama and Daddy dressed up as June and Leo, Abby was Annie.  It was so sweet watching her open her gifts and play with the little kids.  These years pass so quickly, I just want to remember every moment…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A lot of memories, today…

When I was in elementary school, I made a card for Mom, and I’ve always remembered the verse.  I thought it would be especially fitting to post it today, which would have been her ninety-third birthday.

In all the world there is no other

To take the place of you,

Dear Mother…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I have a serious cracker addiction…

Seriously, I do.  I can, for the most part, pass up cake, pie, well maybe not pie, or cake, but I can pass up chips, ice cream and candy, but I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to crackers.  Gimme’ a sleeve and the entire thing somehow vanishes!

I think it’s genetic, my mother adored crackers, Zesta’s were always in the house, and many nights she had crackers and milk for a nighttime snack.  My boys fell on the cracker  bandwagon at an early age, John especially, has a severe addiction.  And I’m starting to wonder if my little Granddaughter has fallen prey as well.  Give her a bag of Cheez-Its and she inhales them.  But then her sweet little Mama is a salt-aholic, so the poor little thing doesn’t really  have a chance.

And my cracker of choice – well, I do love Cheez-Its as well, but I’m also a fan of Veggie Thins, Wheat Thins, Ritz and Club.  In other words, I’m not really picky, I like them all.  Since I have no willpower, I seldom buy them, but hubby is always dragging them into the house, and he doesn’t even like crackers!  I know he’s being nice to me, but I’m thinking I would rather have flowers.  He’s been bringing me Snickers, too, but I froze those things, maybe I need to put the crackers in the freezer, too!  I just don’t know why I can’t resist them, what is it about those damn crackers anyway!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keepin’ it all in the family…

Meet Miley, my friend Diane’s new pup, who just happens to be my Mollie’s granddaughter.  Isn’t she the cutest little dog!  I met her a couple of weeks ago, and was just enchanted.  There is just nothing better than a new pup, even better when it’s a Yorkie! Yeah, I know, I’m really prejudiced, but Yorkie’s are God’s special creatures, in my opinion, they are just wonderful little dogs…

Send a kiss ~ jan Send a kiss


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sittin' on the dock of the bay...

There is just something adorable about old men and a little girl with piggies. Lindsay and Abby visited her family in Washington State last week and Lindsay snapped this picture of Miss A. With her great uncle and Grandpa.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I’m such a happy mom tonight.


John and Deanna were married at sunset, on a beach in Kauai, last night.  She was such a beautiful bride and our John was a handsome groom.  I am so happy for this marriage, she is so good for him and to him, he chose well, my son.

They had a wonderful wedding, stress free, relaxed, and now they vacation for another week before flying home.  Their marriage has the foundation that you want for your children, friendship, happiness, contentment, and love.

So here I sit, joyful,  teary eyed, absolutely thrilled with this union.  I so look forward to the years to come and having this amazing woman in our family.  We are so blessed…

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